Foodies and people hoping to learn more about a plethora of area businesses can indulge their desires at the annual Taste of Pickerington and Fall Festival on Oct. 2.
The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual event in Olde Pickerington Village from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event this year is being co-sponsored by the city of Pickerington.
According to PACC president Helen Mayle, this will mark the 13th year Taste of Pickerington has been held locally. It's roughly the fifth year that the Fall Festival will be jointly held.
"The idea is to feature local restaurants and highlight local businesses," Mayle said.
Admission to the Taste of Pickerington and Fall Festival, which is held at the corner of Columbus and Center streets, is free.
Once there, visitors can pay $1 for food samples provided by local restaurants. They also can peruse wares and services offered by participating businesses.
"You can come and take a sample of a restaurant for $1, and you can just tour through there and talk to individual businesses to see what they have to offer," Mayle said. "Some of the businesses will be selling products there.
"A lot of 'Taste' events charge $10 or something to get in and then it's free to taste the food," she said. "My philosophy is it should be free to get in and you spend $1 to try something so the businesses can get a little money for the food they bring."
Mayle said close to a dozen restaurants had signed up to participate in this year's Taste as of Sept. 17.
Additional restaurants can participate by registering with the chamber by Sept. 24. Registration can be completed by calling the chamber at (614) 837-1958 on online at www.pickeringtonchamber.com.
There also will be 5K race prior to the Taste and festival organized by C3 Church of Pickerington.
The race will begin at 9:30 a.m., and registration costs $25. Those interested in running can register by calling the church at (614) 833-0033 or online at www.myc3church.com.
Additionally, Mayle said, there will be arts and crafts for children at the event, as well as other entertainment.
"We have a bounce house and corn hole from Rule(3), and the Pickerington Public Library will have Corduroy the Bear there," she said. "We have entertainment the entire time."
In recognition of September as Life Insurance Month, MMA Insurance of Pickerington will hold a food drive Oct. 2, with donations going to the PMCA Food Pantry of Pickerington.
Anyone who gives 10 items or more or any cash/check donation for more than $10 will be entered into a drawing to receive a certificate for on hour of clown service performed by "Doozy" the clown, which includes face-painting and balloon-twisting.
Check donations can be made out to PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington. Through the drive, MMA also is seeking donations of baked beans, pancake mix, pancake syrup, diced tomatoes, black beans, canned chicken breast, pears and pineapples.